Sunday, January 20, 2008

I've just finished reading, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - at least I think it's Eat, Pray, Love in that order......Riley, he's the cute little Westie featured at the top of my blog site.....Riley loves to "read" also and in his voracious reading he did manage to eat the cover and the first few pages of the book - however, I had already begun the book and he ate pages I had already read. (Yep, you see Riley does get away with murder around here - but that's another story!)

Yes, of course, it's Eat, Pray, Love. I laughed and cried along with Elizabeth as she recounted her life tales. I was having a nervous breakdown (well maybe not quite) but was extremely nervous as she ate her way across Italy; my inner voice kept yelling - "get on a scale - what are you thinking?!" Well, 25 pounds later she took off for her "diet - find God" - trip to India - but for those of you who have read the book, you don't need a recap and for those of you who haven't, I recommend it as some serious, some religious, some way too personal in my opinion, and in general, just a good read.

I marked many pages I wanted to post about but the obvious word and thought for me was the one to which she referred often - at least twice anyway - was attraversiamo which in Italian means 'Let's cross over.'

I'm personally crossing over these days from several states of existence -

from paid employment (my business career)
to unpaid retirement.....well, I was preparing along the way so it's not totally "unpaid"
from 20 hours needing to be in my work space on my computer
to as many hours as I want to be in my work - we call it now - my play space
from a valued employee
to a valued volunteer
from wife of the Episcopal rector employed
to wife of the Episcopal rector retired

So the facts are those from's and to's, the question, the journey, the joy is beginning to unfold already.

What am I crossing over to do, to be, to participate, to enjoy, to learn, to explore?
-To explore and to cherish family, friendship - (a recent blog post on January 17)
-To enjoy my volunteer participation and not treat it as a serious, life-threatening event when things don't always get done
-To enjoy my new leisure time in whatever activity I choose, without guilt
-To practice my writing skills
-To revive and rejoice in my creative talent; to trust and believe in the efforts I make in that regard
-To increase my listening relationship with God
-To increase my service in God's work and in the work of being a disciple

Yes, I'm crossing over - Elizabeth Gilbert's word echoed within me. Are there places that you find yourself crossing over? Maybe there should be some places in which you should cross or maybe even jump or skip over - in the meantime I join Elizabeth in repeating "Attraversiamo!" Let's cross over.....


  1. The book's on my Amazon list. I love the word Attraversiamo.
    As I cross over from full-time to part-time work it still feels like a holiday, and I feel a bit giddy with excitement, like I'm doing something a bit "naughty". Which of course is great!
    Like you, I want to explore so many things.
    I hope you write more about your volunteer participation.

  2. atrraversiamo, indeed!!! i love this post and i love your intentionality with life right now...i can feel the momentum flowing (just like your posts and creativity!!!) xoxoxo

  3. A lovely post about embracing new opportunities and situations. And I liked Elizabeth Gilbert's book as well. She is now living her dream, along with her husband, traveling the world buying unusual items for their store in the US.

  4. I loved Eat, Pray, Love and congratulations on all the wonderful landscapes you are crossing over into. What amazing beauty lies ahead. Thank you for your lovely kind and supportive words on my blog, not to mention the introduction to Lucy's site! I think there will be some colourful blog entries on all to come!
    ps. I *love* riley!! I have a westie too called Cujo and a jack russell called Jake. I hope to post some pics of them on my site soon, so pop by again if you get the chance! x

  5. Tess, I agree with your guilt feeling over the FT to PT. When i went to the arrangement once we moved to the West Coast of the States, I felt the job was almost like a game. Now that I've been retired for a big two weeks, I understand THIS is the really good game:) But don't wish for it, it comes too soon.

    Lucy, thanks - you are such a good bounce-back wall for me to hit against!

    Paris - wow, Lucy, must have found your site by now. She's lusting after Paris these days!

    And, Penny, welcome. I just saw your darling Cujo on your site. Westies are a real kick - we have a Sheltie also that we adore but he's the laid back dog in comparison to Riley.....there's no laying back in your house though if you have a "jack" also!

    Come again everyone - love your comments!

  6. Wasn't this the most divine book -- I know I said it filled a hole in my soul so I guess it's edible -- Riley certainly thinks so!! :)

    A few days ago, you asked about the blessings award on my blog and if you could have it to bestow upon others -- I say "go for it". I've never been one for "the rules" and I find it hard to just give an award to a "few" when I know so many who are deserving. Therefore, I say please take the blessings award from Sage and Thyme and happily bestow it where you see fit. I'm happy that you asked and that you want to do this!!!

  7. I have to admit, I am not a fan of Eat Pray Love. I'm probably one of very few but I found it a bit self absorbed and trite. Probably not something you want to hear from your daughter. I'm sure we can have a long discussion about books when I see you in a few weeks!

    Ah, and by the way. My friend, Kelly Corrigan, just published her book. I have not read it yet but it has gotten great reviews. I have copy on order and plan on picking it up next time I am in the US. If you care to visit here site, please do:

  8. Sarah, thanks for your comment. I liked much of EPL; I would agree that the book was self-absorbed. Many of us tend toward that trait and seeing it exposed may help us to deal with our own "sa" personalities.

    On the other hand Gilbert exposed many real life happenings regarding her search for God and for meaning in her life that I felt were positive.

    The courage expressed in leaving her old self in search of a new self was telling; many never have the nerve or even the thought of a journey to discover themselves. Millions of people embark on the journey w/o ever leaving home - which I find commendable - and reading her efforts to improve her life through travel, prayer, reflection still made it a worthwhile read for me.

    Don't shy away from disagreeing on these blogs or anyone's blog. Disagreement often brings richness and exposure (good and bad) to the obvious that is sometimes missed by those who just want to "go along" and agree with everything:)

    Come back soon!

  9. SS--i love your comment here to sarah. your 'analysis' seemed quite apt AND i also really enjoying hearing sarah's 'different' view point. i agree it makes for richer conversation and often when someone questions or disagrees with me, it challenges me to consider if i believe what i have written (or said) or if i am just going along with the flow. thank you both!

  10. I had a discussion with a good friend of mine the other day. She has also been trying to finish the book and can't get past Italy.

    We came to the conclusion that this book, or at least what we have read, is very self absorbed and self servicing. You don't get a sense that she is out there, not only bettering herself, but also those around her. I do believe she gets more involved in the communities when she leaves Italy but it was just such a turn off.

    Actually, there has been a lot of backlash out there regarding this book. So, I picked up one review that articulates a little better than I can, what I feel about this book.......

    Despite a great title and a decent premise, this book is both disappointing and aggravating from beginning to end. The author is self-absorbed and irritating, and her 'insights' into the people she meets and the places she goes are shallow and annoying. The endless reflection on the horror of a marriage that didn't seem that horrible to me, and the quest for spirituality that has Gilbert chatting with God in India made finishing this book a torment. Finding out that she got the book advance before heading out on her journey made total sense; the trip fit into the book proposal rather than the other way around. The fact that her giant spiritual journey to learn how to be alone ends with her pairing up with a Brazilian expat was the final straw; I certainly don't believe she grew or learned anything at all about herself on this quest.